Dear Monzo, I've always struggled with budgeting

This month Laura looks at budgeting, replying to one reader who sets such strict budgets for spending, they find themselves exceeding them every month without fail

I like this. Straightforward and helpful.

I’ve read many articles, and I know some try and offer a way to think of your money in %… so X% on Bills, X% on ‘spending’ and X% on Savings, but I think that’s for those who have their money under control.

Be interested in hearing other approaches from people, like me, who have a few large debts they are paying down, and how they balance the need for emergency funds/savings, versus getting rid of the debt…

E.g. I am using the snowball method at the moment. 3 Debts, hit the smallest one with as much money as I can each month to pay it off first, then take that payment and add it to the minimum i was paying on the second, and so on. Once I’ve got those ‘gone’ I’ll look to bumping up my savings/pension.

But is this the ‘right’ way? Who knows! (and I know there is no one way for everyone).

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I’ll be honest, I don’t really tend to budget at all, well not in any fierce/ strict sense.

My bills come out a few days after my pay day, so I know what is in my account is “mine” (apart from around £30 on subscriptions like Nespresso and Netflix). I tend to spend around the same every week on food, don’t spend discretionally too wildly, couple of things here and there, a little bit off my student overdraft and a little bit into savings (savings is done in bulk on “bill day” and then a little through IFTTT and round-ups).

I don’t think there will ever be one budget to rule them all - which is quite cool when you see other people’s way of doing it.

It would help if Monzo actually adjusted their budgeting to accommodate those that don’t get paid on the same day each month or every 4 weeks…

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Exactly the same for me too.

If I want to buy something I just look at my balance and think: “Can I survive off the remainder until next payday” - if yes, then I buy it because I’ve already paid all my bills.

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